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History of Rumford, Maine

New Pennacook was granted on February 3rd, 1774, to Timothy Walker Jr. of Concord, NH, and his associates. The conditions of the grant was that they had to get 30 families to settle here within 6 years. In 1779, they did not have the 30 familes, so they got the contract renewed for another 5 years.

On January 3rd 1777, Jonathan Keyes purchased 4 full rights, (400 acres), and in August, he and sons came and started clearing the land for a home. On March 10th, 1779, he moved his wife in, and he has been given the honor, as having been the first to make a perminate home here.

By 1781, 3 more persons had started to make a home for themselves, but on the 3rd of August 1781, a small band of Indians from Canada attacked Sudbury Canada, (now Bethel), killing 2 and took 3 prisoners. Due to this, the 4 families felt it best to leave, and didn't return until the spring of 1783. In 1784, 3 more person had begun settlement, but still not the 30 families required, so the land holders asked for, and got an additional 2 years to try and get the required 30 families. To induce settlement here, they now offered a bounty of 6 pounds to each settler who actually built here.

The York County Census of 1790, lists 18 familes. I find only 15, for there are 3 families listed, whom did not build or live in town. In 1792, Mr. Keyes was requested to send in a report to the landloads of all families who were actual settlers within the township at the time, and he came up with 24 families, with 2 more who were clearing, but not yet moved in. Thus, only 26 households, not the required 30. Whether they got the 30 families in time is not known.

New Pennacook Township, was incorporated as Rumford by the General Court of Massachusetts, as the 123rd town within the District of Maine, on February 21, 1800. By this time there were several settlements within the township. What is now Rumford Corner, was called Rumford, and the first settlement in town. Rumford Point, North Rumford, Rumford Center, East Rumford, South Rumford, and Rumford Falls, (which is now Rumford). Other settlements were Red Hill, Eaton Hill, and Abbott's Mills.

Last Updated: May 15, 2000
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Rumford, Oxford County, Maine Genealogy Project - Founded May 1, 1999
Copyright 1999 by Craig E. Bryant